WTF

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:67

WTF is going on in Seattle?

Some of you not in the area may be wondering if we have gone to hell in a hand basket. No, no we have not. But it’s complicated.

Here is my understanding of the last few weeks…

Do not trust the media.

What is being reported in the media is a mixture of truths and false information depending on the perspective they are supporting. I do encourage looking at different news outlets to see how differently each is representing the situation.

There have been a bunch of different things going on at once. First protests were prompted by the police killing of George Floyd. Initially Black Lives Matter were not encouraging people to protest because of COVID, but people came with signs anyway in support. Then CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) was created in reaction to the SPD’s violent response to the peaceful protests. While Black Lives Matter and CHAZ share some of the same concerns, they are different citizen groups. Here is the list of demands from each  Black Lives Matter and CHAZ.

Even though we now live 35 miles away, we still consider Seattle our city. When the protesting started, we sat on our couch and watched the news. Disturbed by the mayhem of the anarchists and looters. We listened to our mayor and police chief talk about how they supported the protesters and their right to march, but there were others causing trouble as the police were trying to keep the peace. We were impressed at the time with the calm demeanor of the officials and their support of Black Lives Matter.

Then I started seeing social media posts from friends who were there peacefully protesting.  The police were throwing stun grenades/flashbangs and tear gas at them. My son Sam got a frantic call from his friends to come get them. They were quietly setting up equipment for the speakers when the police came and threw flashbangs and tear gas at them. Then the looting started. It was really confusing at first, it seemed like these folks had just gotten in the crossfire between the looter/anarchists and the police. But the violence continued after the looters/anarchists went home.

The protesters decided to stand their ground and marched to the Capitol Hill precinct which is now CHAZ, a 6-block area of the city. During the weeks I would switch between social media and the news outlets to see how each was handling it. The media focus stayed on the Capitol Hill protesters often criticizing their behavior, calling them terrorists etc. Friends reported the protests continued for the most part peacefully. Yes, a few small things were tossed at the police but nothing that warranted the severe response as they continued to throw tear gas flash bangs and pepper spray. The mayor and the police chief both said they would not use tear gas anymore, but the police continued to do so.

I believe my friends and Sam who spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill as things unfolded. None of whom are terrorists, looters or anarchists. They are peace loving people who started out protesting in the name of George Floyd and ended up protesting against SPD in self defense. The main thrust of the CHAZ protesters was to get the police out of the precinct, which they did. It’s unclear what will happen on Capitol Hill moving forward, things keep morphing.

We need police reform. Defunding the police is not a request to get rid of police, but to look at restructuring the system and reallocating the budget to include social services.

Peace be with you.

WTF

Tell Somebody


The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:66

The story of America is not a pretty one. This video is hard to watch because of its truth.

It’s a terrible beautiful time.  The people are rising for justice and equality. Some, still in the shadows are holding on *tight. Those coming out of the shadows are horrified they’ve allowed the inequality for so long.

Finally, we are experiencing a crisis of consciousness. 

This is Act 1 of the revolution: Acknowledgement

We fucked up. We can’t breathe. Racism is the igniter.

It’s been a long slow burn. Somewhere in our history Love became a weakness and the concept of “power over” became the mantra. The majority of public systems in place support some form of racism, sexism and bigotry. These were built by the white patriarchy. The patriarchy’s primary focus is control and power over others.  The systems are not designed to help humans thrive. They are designed to let very few have all the power.  The industrial complexes run the country; corporations and the military. Together they profit financially from maintaining socially detrimental or inefficient systems.  Together they keep the focus on the resulting chaos, perpetuating the perception for the need of more control.

The US is 5% of the world’s population and we have 25% of the world’s jails. Lap that shit up.

Timing is key. The Earth can’t breathe. It gave us the corona virus where the people can’t breathe. Mother nature knows exactly what it’s doing. Forcing us to stop and sit in place. This gave us the time we needed to reflect on what Matters. Then we saw the knee on the neck of George Floyd, ending his life.  That act finally tipped the scales for those still in the shadows to acknowledge we had created societal systems that don’t allow people of color to breathe. Black Lives Matter.

Enough.

We are done talking. Some want solutions right now. Some are springing into action. Some are still chewing on it; how will they be part of the solution. Some can’t *see the problem.

Happy people do not kill each other.

* If you’re not convinced that the country needs a makeover, review the Black history of this country. Here are a few of the good movies available:
I Am Not your Negro Based on James Baldwins works, a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to Black Lives Matter.
 13th the building of the prison industrial complex.
Selma The story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people.

Lest we forget The Dark history of Native Americans.

…..

Onto our 5 minute meditation following the phases of the Moon.

Waning moon decreasing in light moving toward Third Quarter

Preamble

Resurrect what has always been ours.

Meditation

Sit in silence
Bring our consciousness to our hearts
Imagine resurrecting Love
See and feel what grows

Tell Somebody

Guilty

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:65

https://twitter.com/Freeyourmindkid/status/1266626242905886721?s=20

Practical Life

Shit continued to explode yesterday. Last night we watched the pockets of destruction happening around the world from the comfort of our home.

What to do and not do?

The attached video is from a protest. It offers a perspective that needs to be heard. I have been struggling with how to fight racism. What is my fight and what is not? What is the appropriate response for white people? And what’s our motivation? I don’t want to screw things up because I feel bad. Guilt is a powerful motivator. But guilt as a motivator doesn’t solve the problems of racism, it changes the focus to be about making the guilty ones feel better.

Regardless of my intentions, I’ll wake up tomorrow with the unfair advantage of being White in America.

What to do and not do?

Meanwhile our neighbor has been shooting their pistol all day, and its LOUD, LOUD, LOUD. We moved to the country thinking it was a peaceful place…

BodyMindSpirit

Onto our 5-minute meditation that follows the phases of the Moon.  The waxing Moon increasing in light moving from First Quarter toward Gibbous.

Observe where your focus is now. How does it feel? If we want a new result focus on something different. We know the power of our mind; use it.

Meditation

Be here now, pay attention and feel any newness.
This is our time to contemplate our existence.
Be here now.
Pay attention to the waves of our breath.
With each breath give thanks to our body from our toes to our head.
The expansion is coming be patient with the reveal.

Guilty

Justice

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:64

Practical Life

 We woke to thunderous skies, rolling into our sleep, shaking us awake with its growling howling claps of anger. Excited for the intensity we sat with coffee in our comfortable living room as it screamed its way across the world. The anger didn’t stop with the storm as we read about protests against racism and inequality.

Even the birds were in synch with the discordance. First it was a small bird chirping and clicking incessantly, something was wrong. I was putting dishes away when I heard it at the window. I opened the kitchen door to see what the disturbance was about. I looked close by and didn’t see anything so closed the door. Again, they insisted to be heard. I opened the door and again saw nothing unusual, but I really wasn’t looking, just responding to the noise.

Then a few minutes later, larger, louder voices joined in. These could not be ignored. This time I went out into the driveway and walked up the hill toward the loudest sounds in the grove of tall fir trees. I only saw the hysteria until I stopped focusing on the noise and quietly observed.

At first it was a soft shadow lost in the trees. Then slight movement brought the cause into focus. The Crows cawing as loudly as they could with Robins and smaller birds all screaming for their lives and their babies. There it was, looming, silent. A great horned Owl. The smaller birds all worked together to push away the predator. They dive bombed the Owl, protesting as loudly as they could. It’s here, don’t you see it? Come chase it away with us.

Now aware of my presence, the Owl flew to a different branch out of my view, trying to stay hidden. I moved to a better vantage point. Looking over its shoulder at me, again it moved to be hidden. It was big, it could crush any one of these other birds, but the other birds know that when they band together, they have a chance. Maybe not in defeating it, because the Owls nature is to prey on others. But by calling attention to it, maybe it will move on.

This is the dance of injustice. It stays hidden until awareness is brought to it.

I’m a metaphor person, always looking for synchronicity and connection. How many times do we need to open the door before we act for justice? Our world is discordant right now, maybe it always has been. Unfortunately, we are born into a racist society. Equality requires the focus stay on correcting the injustice of racism and not the noise created by the awareness. Bias establishes racism, it is driven by fear. Fear has many collaborators and is used as a strategy that can be louder than potential solution. Often fear points the finger in the wrong direction. To be clear, Racism is the problem. I wish I had solutions. All I know is that when we act, it’s either from Love or Fear.

BodyMindSpirit

Onto our 5-minute meditation that follows the phases of the Moon.  The waxing Moon increasing in light moving from First Quarter toward Gibbous.

Preamble…

Our theme today is “Welcome and Release”. Welcome our best intentions with no attachment to how they show up. Listen carefully to our higher will, surrender to change for the best and highest good. See our ego, and release what we can shake off and make peace with what we can’t. If met with muddled thinking, imagine moving up and the confusion falling away, leaving us only with our vision. Now is the time to embody letting go and Welcome – balanced spirit, emotion, and intellect. Be in alignment and create a flow towards our intentions.

Meditation

We step in and see ourselves in our vision. Our oneness.

Justice

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:63

Practical Life

We worked on a bunch of maintenance today, antifreeze in the van, vacuuming the crevasses under the hood, garage cleaning, weeding, slug abatement, mulching… All glamorous work.

Not so practical, I fell into a vat of lazy for a few days. Brining away, occasionally coming up for snacks. I blame it on the weather. I pulled myself together this morning because I had to pick something up at 10am. Otherwise I might still be brining.  It’s a slippery slope, sitting on the couch too early in the day can snowball into a black hole of unconsciousness and lead weighted inertia. I’m better now. And what a beautiful day to celebrate being able to move!

BodyMindSpirit

The attached video is a chat from last year with Russell Brand and Brene Brown, I Love these 2. Skip the first 5 minutes. They talk about politics, spirituality and power. Brene asks the question, can any system that is divorced from spirituality work, if the systems are design for people who are inherently spiritual beings? Stating, politics is a transactional economy, devoid of spirituality.

Onto our 5-minute meditation. The Moon is now Crescent.

Meditation prep

As the moon continues to wax, it illuminates more of what is, including those clinging thoughts of dis-ease. Stuck like burs, imagine something stickier rolling through and taking them away… or use a flame thrower, rake, hammer… Perhaps ask why we hang on to them?
If surrendering or a truce feels better do that. Sometimes just acknowledgment, releases us from its grip.

Meditation

Our shadow is part of us. It will take all our attention given the chance.
Bring on more light.
The brighter our light, the less shadow there is.

Poem

beauty in stillness
dark and light

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:62

Practical life

I just came in from an outdoor fire, the neighbors joined at an appropriate distance. We drank wine and whiskey and I’m feeling it. It feels good to step into another realm and let everything go, not sure why alcohol does this, but am not complaining. I think its therapeutic to imbibe on occasion.

Earlier today we went to the Rainy Day Flora nursery for the first time. A lovely spot, we brought home more living things to care for. We came home and planted. I had to pause and enjoy the bees collecting pollen from the Cranesbill Geranium.

Yesterday we went to an estate sale. It was good to get out of the house and drive around our beautiful Island. Estate sales are fascinating and sobering. Laid out are the things of a person’s life. Sometimes it’s the leftovers, after their loved ones have taken what they want. I usually come home and look at what I can get rid of. I hope when I die, my kids take 5 things each (unless truly practical) and then hire an estate person to deal with the rest. I don’t want my memories to become their burden…

Onto our 5-minute meditation. The Waxing Moon increasing in light moving toward Crescent.

Meditation

What will we take on our journey? What will we leave behind and release?
We bring our fire, passion, power & wisdom.
We bring all that comes from Love.
Gently thank all we are leaving behind, remembering where we came from with gratitude.

Poem

The moon whispers
Kisses the treetops
As we say good night to the day

New Moon

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V:61

Happy New Moon! It’s a good time to set intentions for the coming month or start something new, even if it’s a perspective shift.

I used to think that success was climbing the corporate ladder, or having a PHD, or 50 patents.  In other words, I used to think success was measured externally, defined by culture and the approval of others. I bought it hook line and sinker. My need to belong, to be admired, by a system not of my design led to cognitive dissonance and ultimately depression. I am grateful for my depression because it forced me to go deep into introspection and what wellbeing truly needs.

Onto our 5-minute meditation. The New Moon has moved into Gemini.

Meditation

We’re on a Hero’s journey, starting something new. Let’s sit in recognition that we are not simple, and that we benefit when we start from Love. With the dark we feel and hear deeply. Listen.

New Moon

The Look of Love

Practical Life

Tom and I went to Bubba Burger, its their opening day for the season and they did not disappoint. We sat in the car while we ate the deliciousness and listened to this Nina Simone remix. We stopped at the country store for tomato cages and quail food before heading home. I thought about cleaning the house but it’s the last day of this lunar cycle and I got caught up in in thoughts of the nothingness of being, cycles and renewal.

BodyMindSpirit

The Look of Love

I have long had a burning desire, an angst, to get to the center of the meaning of life, existence, consciousness. The psychological, philosophical and spiritual meaning. The knowing of it.

It’s impossible to think about the knowingness and not think about God or Love. I struggle with the word God because of its ties to religion and abuse of power. Religious wars in the name of God as one example, control of society to serve its power as another.

It’s more comfortable when I separate God from religion. There are as many ideas of what God is as there are people who have lived. They are usually spiritually based. Religion on the other hand is culture. It might start out as a spiritual endeavor although once labeled a religion it’s a cultural system, an institution.

Institutions often have a long death, riddled with exclusivity, strangled by structure, clipping growth. Our own consciousness can experience this too if we don’t actively stretch ourselves. Looking to understand different perspectives is growth. Or even allowing opposite ideas is growth.

Everything has a lifecycle. Birth, life, death, compost, birth… Destruction is necessary for growth.

When looking to know, “Don’t mistake the finger pointing at the moon, for the moon”.  Matching our values, beliefs and actions brings the look of Love.

Onto our 5-minute meditation. The Waning Balsamic Moon moves toward darkness.

Meditation

There are rich experiences both in both shadow and light. It’s all about actively balancing our existence in the world. Stay aware of the shadow but focus on the light.

Poem

The Sun and I are partners gliding across the Sky at different rates.
Tonight we set at the same time.
Gracefully, we set together.

The Look of Love

Double Cup on Repeat

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V59

Practical Life

Today I worked on the wetland path and was met by mosquitos the size of cruise ships. Tom leant me his anti-mosquito hoodie and I zipped myself up to my eyes. I dug more sod, ugh, then planted 13 verbena bonariensis seedlings to add to the existing ones that were gorgeous last year.  After playing gardener, I went to the pharmacy and ran into Raja the tortoise at the strip mall.

Moving on…

Yesterdays post had me thinking about the fringes of culture and its influence on the mainstream. The following is from a post from 2013…

October 23, 2013

Double Cup

Last night my husband was playing DJ Rashad’s Double Cup album. It reminded me that if we want to stay relevant, whether it’s in business or society, we should stretch outside our comfort zones now and again.
 
Music is a language of culture. It represents the sentiments of the time and place it was created. Music that comes from the edges of our ethos is foretelling of changes to come in the mainstream.
 
My husband invited me to dance to one of the songs. Double Cup is in the footwork genre, which to me sounds like a combo of techno, hip-hop and ghetto house music. Its contrasting groove sucked me right in. My husband, being the font of all knowledge, also had search results open on Tumblr for “double cup”. It showed mixed media, most included styrofoam cups, sprite, and codeine cough syrup. Not being familiar with the term I looked it up.

While Rashad’s Double Cup will rub many people the wrong way it is a provocative and good listen. It has strong language that is lewd and disrespectful. It’s about things I abhor although am drawn to. It’s right, and not right.

Cultural context gives us the difference between polite and offensive speech. And not being from the Double Cup culture (if there is such a thing) I’m unclear if any offense is suggested. It does however beg questions and brings the movie The Gods Must be Crazy to mind. Where the story follows a coke bottle that falls from an airplane into a culture secluded from the larger world; it brings joy, chaos and violence.

I’m not saying Double Cup will have the same effect on the mainstream. Or that we’re going to be drinking dirty sprite at our local cocktail lounge. Yet getting high continues to be a theme in modern western society. Escapism is mainstream and we continue to be creative about how we do it. Beyond new ways to get high, the point is that ideas morph and spread. Wandering to the edges to see what’s up often shows us innovative ways to meet a culture’s needs.

Will this help keep us relevant? If we don’t jump over the fence now and again we’ll never know.

Back to 2020.

DJ Rashad died from an overdose 6 months later. So many talented people pushing the edges flame out too soon, but not before leaving a lasting mark. We saw him at the Crocodile a few months before his death. The set felt like we were with him in his backyard. He was casual, holding a fifth of something while chatting with people on stage, moving back and forth from his equipment. His music isn’t for everyone, but I connected to its edge. The dichotomy of giving a shit and not about life held me. His creativity is reflected in so much music that followed, especially the discordant parts. And look at how discordant society is today. We are moving toward systems that dehumanize humans because those in power understand how to weaponize fear. The God’s must be crazy.

On that cheery note…

BodyMindSpirit

Onto our 5-minute meditation. The Waning Balsamic Moon moves toward darkness.

Meditation

There is nothing to do
release expectations
accept what is
sit, listen, feel, breathe
just be

Double Cup on Repeat

Repition

The Sunshine Observer: SO… V58

Practical Life

All the days are blurring together. Repetition equals blurring.

I planted a few tomatoes indoors and then decided to stagger planting them outside. The ones planted 3 weeks ago are basically the same size as when I planted them. They had been nibbled on by the executioner which likely stunted its growth as well as being exposed to the weather too early. As another experiment, today I planted some in the ground and others in large pots outside to see the further differences in growth. Stay tuned.

Moving on

During my mediation this morning, 3 themes kept popping in, Consciousness, DNA, and the Media.

Starting with the media. A huge part of the media’s role is to keep us engaged. And that happens through emotional connection, good and bad. Very often we see things we can’t believe or are so much on the edge, we’re drawn to keep looking. Good or Bad.

I love synchronicities, I looked at Facebook for a minute before starting to blog and found todays memory of Pinky and his protégé. Here, I am the media, pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior. It’s one thing for an adult to dressed as a questionable character, but another to indoctrinate a child. What other strange or inappropriate behaviors might be happening in this household? The mind wanders. For the protégé, not having a history with debauchery, they think they’re being a funny looking old man for Halloween, just like mom. But the picture might suggest more. Anyway, mainstream media continues to take things from the fringes to keep us engaged. In a sense my exploration of Pinky was to keep me engaged, how far could I go and be tolerated or accepted?

Consciousness: own it. We have 2 options, Love and Fear. Stop wasting time thinking any person, place or condition is in control of what you think or do… So easy to say, so difficult to employ.

DNA, we know so little about it. Scratching the surface with physical stuff for medical purposes, and only because it pays to. Perhaps every experience and thought we have is stored in our DNA, and we pass it along to the next generation with the physical traits.

Onto our 5-minute meditation. The Waning Balsamic Moon moves toward darkness.

Meditation

The Universe is within us. Feel the power and the glory of our connection to spirit. As we speak from our hearts, we open our minds to the power of the collective love that is the Universe. Today we touch the Universe.
Hear it sing.

Poem

Back to a sliver
an opening to the Universe
climb in
rest and sing
I am here for you

Repition